“Milk, it does a body good.” This was the marketing mantra employed by the cow industry in the 1980’s to boost interest in cow’s milk. The campaign was wildly successful and as a result, The Dairy Farmers of America have reported sales topping 11 billion dollars in 2007. But does the overwhelming popularity of cow’s milk in the United States signify that it really is the best? Should we assume that quantity equates quality when referring to a substance that is such an integral part of our food supply? Interestingly enough, when worldwide consumption of milk is taken into account, it is not cow’s milk that is most popular but goat’s milk.
In fact 65% of the milk consumption worldwide is from goat’s milk, and this popularity hasn’t come about due to high profile marketing campaigns or big-budget advertisements. The reasons for the worldwide popularity of goat’s milk are multifaceted. First, we need to remind ourselves that “All milk is not created equal.” The differences between cow’s milk and goat’s milk may not seem apparent upon first examination.
A closer look, however, reveals several key factors that play an integral part in how milk (from either cows or goats) matches up with the human body in its various stages. All humans have been created to be sustained entirely upon mothers’ milk for at least the first six months of life. There is no other food in the world better than mothers’ milk, and it truly shows both in the laboratory and the real world.
But what about after these first few months are over, and one is faced with the rest of life? Why would someone choose goat’s milk products over the far more popular and accessible cow’s milk? Here are 5 reasons goat milk is better than cow milk. 1. Goat’s milk is less allergenic. 2. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized. 3. Goat’s milk is easier to digest. 4. Goat’s milk rarely causes lactose intolerance.
5. Goat’s milk matches up to the human body better than cow’s milk. 1. Goat milk is less allergenic. In the United State the most common food allergy for children under three is cow’s milk. Mild side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes and severe effects can be as serious as anaphylactic shock! Needless to say it is a serious condition. The allergic reaction can be blamed on a protein allergen known as Alpha s1 Casein found in high levels in cow’s milk.
The levels of Alpha s1 Casein in goat’s milk are about 89% less than cow’s milk providing a far less allergenic food. In fact a recent study of infants allergic to cow’s milk found that nearly 93% could drink goat’s milk with virtually no side effects! ((Freund G. Use of goat milk for infant feeding: experimental work at Creteil (France). Proceeding of the meeting Interets nutritionnel et dietetique du lait de chevre.
Niort, France: INRA, 1996:119–21)) 2. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized. If you were to place both a glass of fresh cow’s milk as well as fresh goat’s milk in the refrigerator overnight, the next morning you would find that while the goat’s milk looks exactly the same, the cow’s milk has separated into two distinct ‘phases’ of cream on the top and skim milk on the bottom. This is a natural separation process that is caused by a compound called agglutinin and it will always cause the cow’s milk to separate.
As Americans, we like everything neat and tidy and so to get the milk to the consumer in a uniform manner, the dairy industry utilizes a process called homogenization. This method works by forcing the fluid milk through a tiny hole under tremendous pressure which destroys the fat globule cell wall and allows the milk and cream to stay homogeneous or suspended and well mixed. The problem with such homogenization is that once the cell wall of the fat globule has been broken, it releases a superoxide (free radical) known as Xanthine Oxidase.
(see picture) Now free radicals cause a host of problems in the body not the least of which is DNA mutations which often lead to cancer! Thus, the benefit of natural homogenization comes into clear view. Goat’s milk has smaller fat globules and does not contain agglutinin which allows it to stay naturally homogenized thus eliminating the dangers associated with homogenization. 3. Goat’s milk is easier to digest.
Goat’s milk has smaller fat globules as well as higher levels of medium chain fatty acids. This means that during digestion, each fat globule and individual fatty acid will have a larger surface-to-volume ratio resulting in a quicker and easier digestion process. Also, when the proteins found in milk denature (clump up) in the stomach, they form a much softer bolus (curd) than cow’s milk. This allows the body to digest the protein more smoothly and completely than when digesting cow’s milk.
4. Goat’s milk rarely causes lactose intolerance. All milk contains certain levels of lactose which is also known as ‘milk sugar.’ A relatively large portion of the population suffers from a deficiency (not an absence) of an enzyme known as lactase which is used to, you guessed it, digest lactose. This deficiency results in a condition known as lactose intolerance which is a fairly common ailment.
(Lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy (cma) are two distinct conditions. CMA is due to a protein allergen, while lactose intolerance is due to a carbohydrate sensitivity.) Goat’s milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk and therefore is easier to digest for those suffering from lactose intolerance. Now the interesting aspect to consider is that goat’s milk isn’t much lower than cow’s milk (contains about 10% less than cow’s milk) and yet, countless lactose intolerant patients are able to thrive on goat’s milk.
Although the answer for this is unclear, it has been hypothesized that since goat’s milk is digested and absorbed in a superior manner, there is no “leftover” lactose that remains undigested which causes the painful and uncomfortable effects of lactose intolerance. 5. Goat’s milk matches up to the human body better than cow’s milk. This matter is both an issue of biochemistry as well as thermodynamics.
Regarding the biochemistry of the issue, we know that goat’s milk has a greater amount of essential fatty acids such as linoleic and arachidonic acid than cow’s milk as well as significantly greater amounts of vitamin B-6, vitamin A, and niacin. Goat’s milk is also a far superior source of the vitally important nutrient potassium which we discussed in a previous High Road to Health issue. This extensive amount of potassium causes goat’s milk to react in an alkaline way within the body whereas cow’s milk is lacking in potassium and ends up reacting in an acidic way.
Thermodynamically speaking, goat’s milk is better for human consumption. A baby usually starts life at around 7-9 pounds, a baby goat (kid) usually starts life at around 7-9 pounds, and a baby cow (calf) usually starts life at around 100 pounds. Now speaking from a purely thermodynamic position, these two animals have very significant and different nutritional needs for both maintenance and growth requirements.
Cow’s milk is designed to take a 100 pound calf and transform it into a 1200 pound cow. Goat’s milk and human milk were both designed and created for transforming a 7-9 pound baby/kid into an average adult/goat of anywhere between 100-200 pounds. This significant discrepancy, along with many others, is manifesting on a national level as obesity rates sky rocket in the U.S. To conclude, we have seen that goat’s milk has several attributes that cause it to be a far superior choice to cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk is less allergenic, naturally homogenized, easier to digest, lactose intolerant friendly, and biochemically/thermodynamically superior to cow’s milk. As if these benefits were not enough, Mt. Capra’s goat’s milk products do not contain any growth hormones or antibiotics that massive cow dairies have come to rely upon to turn a profit! So to sum up and paraphrase the cow industry catchphrase: “Goat Milk: It Does a Body Good.
”See Also: Can Cows Produce Milk Without Having A Calf
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Dairy farmers had quite a marketing plan back in the 1980’s that made them more than 13 billion dollars in recent years. With commercials touting milk mustaches and encouraging little kids to drink their milk (even if it’s chocolate, and full of refined sugar), should we question if cow’s milk is really that ‘good’ for the body? Many people don’t believe in drinking milk at all, but much of the world drinks more goat’s milk than cow’s milk, so what’s up with the American addiction to the cow? In this match of goat milk vs.
cow milk, which will come out on top? We begin life relying on our mother’s milk, and breast feeding research makes it clear that feeding babies with breast milk far exceeds anything made by Similac, so perhaps our obsession with cow’s milk comes from this strange correlation. Maybe not. The bottom line, though, is that the rest of the world drinks goat’s milk because it is simply better for the human body.
Here’s why: Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk You don’t have to homogenize goat’s milk; it is naturally homogenized. Homogenization is a process done to cow’s milk to equally distribute the fat molecules so that when you purchase a jug from your grocery store it doesn’t have milk curd (milk cream) floating on the top of your milk. If you put two glasses of fresh goat’s and cow’s milk in the refrigerator overnight, the cow’s milk separates, and the goat’s milk does not.
Homogenization of milk also causes fat cells to break, releasing a free radical called Xanthine Oxidase. As we know, free radicals aren’t good for you; they cause DNA mutations, among other things. Cow’s milk sold in stores and not purchased fresh from a dairy farm is also pasteurized in order to kill any pathogenic bacteria, but this also kills all the good bacteria that contribute to healthy gut flora and proper digestion – of everything you eat, but also the cow’s milk you drink.
Enzymes and vitamins A, D, and C are also eradicated in the process of pasteurization, and this is why Vitamin D is often added back into cow’s milk. Pasteurization kills the life out of the food, so it basically becomes nutritionless. Goat’s milk is about 85% less allergenic than Cow’s milk, so people suffer intolerance less often. In children under three in the United States, milk is one of the most allergic foods! Goat’s milk is a lot easier to digest than cow’s milk and most closely matches the human body.
The simplicity of digesting goat’s milk has to do with how fat is digested in the body. Basically, the fat molecules in goat’s milk are smaller, and therefore easier to stomach. Goat’s milk also contains less lactose, so there is less likelihood of developing an intolerance. Goat’s milk is just better for you, overall. It has a greater concentration of essential fatty acids such as linoleic and arachidonic acid than cow’s milk along with higher amounts of vitamin B-6, vitamin A, and niacin.
The milk also has higher levels of bioavailable iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which results in the restoration of altered haematological parameters and better levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH). So in the fight of goat milk vs. cow milk, goat milk does indeed come out victorious. If you’re a milk-drinker, go goat. Additional Sources: Raw-Milk-Facts ScienceDaily TheHealthyHomeEconomist Post written byChristina Sarich:Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture.
Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga. Previous PostNext Post Get The NaturalSociety Natural Health Newsletter!